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DOD leaders often overlook officers’ education in future assignments

January 8, 2024

Leo Shane III

Military Times

Former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel delivers remarks at the National Defense University in Washington. (Glenn Fawcett/DOD)

By Leo Shane III, Military Times / January 8, 2024

Thousands of officers complete professional military education programs each year, but Defense Department leaders frequently don’t consider that expertise and experience in students’ future leadership assignments, according to a new analysis of the system by an outside think tank.

The review — mandated by Congress and conducted by the RAND Corporation — said the ongoing education programs are robust and well-utilized, offering significant value to the military services. But researchers said too often that extra coursework is seen as an end to itself, and not used to help guide officers to career paths where they can put the knowledge to work.

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